Naz Way

I quit smoking on Pearl Harbor Day but I am not exactly smoke-free yet. I’m NOT doing it the Naz Way. I am allowed to mess up, then go on from there… the Naz Way is to start all over again from back at Square One. I don’t care what the papers say. This is nicotine, not heroin, and not booze. One cig is not going to send me on a bender smoking more than I was to begin with. I’m still nicotine dependent if I suck on a nicotine lozenge or allow myself a hit. And basically, that is all I want. One hit, maybe two, put it out. They are starting to taste rather nasty now and most of that is psychological, much like how I quit eating french fries by telling myself that they taste like pure grease, like nasty sticks of salted Crisco. Yes, I play head games on myself. They work. As for smokes, I’m down now to ye less than a third of what I smoked per day before Pearl Harbor Day. I should be totally smoke-free soon. I’ll try for Monday. If I don’t make it, I’ll try again Tuesday. I don’t care how many days it takes… I will get there.  I already have ideas on better ways to spend the money.

The colored pencil drawing for today reflects the Naz Way, or to be more specific, the path to salvation in the Church of the Nazarene. (If the denomination sounds familiar, they have produced the likes of Jim Jones.)

LATER:   I saved this as a draft, walked away, came back… walked away again.  From a psychological standpoint, it makes sense to look at what was going on in my life around the time I picked up this nasty little habit.  But how much dare I say?

Okay.  Who reads this blog?  And THAT precisely is the root of everything.  I grew up in glass houses a.k.a. parsonage from age ten until I was seventeen.  Yes, my dad was ordained as a minister in the Church of the Nazarene as well as a skilled tradesman, which was a good thing because he usually pastored small churches that could not afford to pay their pastors enough to get by on.  But then, according to some church people, preachers don’t need anything anyway.  They should never lock their doors as they should not have anything anyone would want to steal and those shameful preacher’s daughters use way too much water, better shut it off to check the lines.  Why, did you see them sunbathing in the back yard?  Is the preacher having an affair?  He was seen walking around downtown with a young blonde (extremely stupid that one was… he was out shopping with his own daughter.)  Oh, I could go on and on and on… the thing is, I grew up knowing that everything I did, everything I said, just everything about me somehow reflected back on my parents.  It did not matter if I was doing the exact same things as the kids who attended the church, or if I was doing those things with them… the preacher’s children are held to a higher standard.  Still, to this day, here I am in my fifties wondering if I should say anything at all.

There was a lot of fuddy-duddy crap going on in the Nazarene Church back in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.  A lot of rules that fall into “gray areas” on what is appropriate or inappropriate, or as they called it, convictions.  Rules on how to dress and how to behave.  Things like knee-length or longer skirts, no bare arms, no cleavage or belly skin, little to no make-up, no piercings, no cards, no movies, no dances, just no, no, no, no, no.  I got my first pair of blue jeans for my twelfth birthday in 1972, a gift from my dad, when they were starting to relax on the fuddy-duddy things.  When he took me to the State Theater in Salem, Ohio to see my very first movie, Oh God with George Burns, he told me, “keep your head down so the bats could fly over and your feet up so the rats can run under, and whatever you do, don’t touch the walls – that’s where the sin is.”  So we sat hunkered down in our seats with our knees pressed up against the backs of the seats in front of us, eating popcorn and had a good time.

Strike flintstone.  Inhale.  ~ B.D. Fiant

I started getting high before I stole my older sister’s first pack of cigarettes.  I was fourteen and pretty much did anything I wanted, but just did not let anyone in the church know about it.  Besides, how dare she smoke and not tell me?

Deep down inside, I am a very defiant person.  It is not that I do anything bad.  I live by my own rules, a personal code of conduct so to speak, based on my own sense of right and wrong, things that are between me and God and not the church.

There were also perks for teenage smokers back then.  Or rather, incentives for teenage smokers to keep their grades up.  If I wanted to eat, smoke, drink pop, and play ping-pong with friends instead of being stuck in a boring study hall, access to the Student Smoking Lounge required Honor Roll grades.  And of course, when I got hired at the Dairy Queen just after I turned 15, I quickly learned that smokers get smoke breaks.

Not being “allowed” to smoke has always had an inverse resultant with me.  Like when I worked at Delphi and they banned smoking on their property.  If you were caught smoking legal tobacco, you could be fired on the spot… smoking anything illegal would only get you sent to rehab.  And no, I didn’t…. I quit smoking illegal substances back in the 1980’s.  The thing is, with not being allowed to smoke at work, I ended up smoking more!  And I was defiant, strike flintstone inhale.  They did not own me off the clock.

So… this whole quit thing is all tied into defiance.  I’m trying to turn it around inside my head.  Instead of being defiant against people and/or institutions that try to control me, tell me what I can or cannot do,  the only way I will succeed is to defiantly thumb my nose at the tobacco industry and the tax man, since tobacco is severely overtaxed, like F U people, I want my money for something else.

Footnote on the off-chance that anyone who knows me in “real life’ happens to read this and shock, NICE NANCY is defiant?  People who REALLY know me already know that… it is not always a bad trait.  Or rather, any bad can be used for good, as it flows in the same vein as the stubborn determination to stand up for what I know is right, even if others do not agree.

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5 Responses

  1. Yes, you have always been a tad defiant. Use that attitude to benefit yourself! Go for it!

  2. You go girl! I can so totally relate to the defiance, I was a rebel from the age of 13 on! Life was one series of situations where Cili me swam against the stream. Nancy, you can do this, be defiant against the chains of tobacco. I once wrote a song whose first line was “King Nicotine, you ain’t gonna be my king no mo!” It became my hippocrit song when it did not work, but I did finally win the battle. Nancy, I can tell you this, it is really wonderful to be smoke free. I have abou 2 1/2 years now, and I so enjoy having broke free! Focus on the horrible way your mouth tastes after you have your “taste” and then how it is when you go for a long stretch without a puff. How I wish I could share with you how it felt when I got to that day when I just stopped wanting them! It was glorious! So, you go girl!

  3. You go girl, defy that nasty King Nicotine! Focus on how clean your mouth tastes when you have gone without a smoke for a good while. I would love to share with you how glorious it is not to have to strike flint inhale! I don’t have that smell of nicotine on my fingers, sweet, I don’t have to stop things that I am doing to go out for a smoke in the bitter cold or beating sun. I don’t have to go through the panicky feeling if my money gets very skinny, cause I don’t need to pay the piper anymore! Be a rebel girl, fight, fight! FIGHT! And breathe….

    • Hi Cili! I approved your Anonymous before seeing that you posted as yourself, do you want me to delete it? Oh, you give me such inspiration! If you and my sister, Jai, can both quit, than I can, too.

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